Exploring Tulsa by Bike

It might surprise you that Tulsa, Oklahoma is the second largest metropolis in the state and one of the more bike-friendly cities. Tulsa has made an effort over the years to make the city more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. In fact, the city has a bike share that has at least 160 bikes at 25 stations throughout the city that residents and visitors can use in the downtown area and along Route 66. Bikes can be rented for a reasonable daily fee and long-term passes can be purchased.

Another bike advocacy group called The Tulsa Townies offers free bike rentals at stations located along the city’s River Parks Trail system. Of course, you can use your own road bike, mountain bike, or e-bike. Exploring Tulsa by bike is fun, good exercise, and great for the environment. Let’s explore eight of the current bike routes and cultural things to experience while in Tulsa and just outside the city limits.

Claremore Lake Trail

The Claremore Lake Trail is perfect for those who want an easy ride on a paved surface. It is just outside of Tulsa proper, so a nice day spent in a less urban environment wither fewer vehicles. This is a great trail for beginners who want a park setting with beautiful views of the lake. It is only 1.1 miles long (2.2 miles round trip), so it is good for kids.

Jenks Aquarium Trail

The Jenks Aquarium Trail takes you along the Arkansas River with terrific water views. It will give you access to the Oklahoma Aquarium for an educational activity. It also allows you to visit a variety of shops and restaurants at River Crossing, including Mexican fare and some of the best OK BBQ.

Midland Valley Trail

The Midland Valley Trail might be one of Tulsa’s best kept secrets. It is a wooded bike path that offers a peaceful respite from the bustling downtown. It runs along the abandoned Midland Valley Railroad tracks and through some of the city parks. The trail is 3 miles long, so it won’t take up your entire day.

Mohawk Park

Mohawk Park is the largest park in Tulsa with 3,300 acres and more than 9 miles of nature trails for biking and hiking. While exploring the park, be sure to visit the Tulsa Zoo and the Oxley Nature Center. This is a great adventure to experience with children because there is so much to do break up a day of bicycling. Be sure to bring a picnic in a backpack to enjoy when you want to chill for a bit and refuel. You can make a day out of this.

Osage Prairie Trail

The Osage Prairie Trail is a 14.5-mile trail located on the Midland Valley Rail bed in Tulsa. This trail is enjoyed by hikers and cyclists alike. Since it was once a railroad corridor, the grade is gentle, and the ride is easy for those who aren’t looking to hit the trail hard. The paths are well-lit by ornamental streetlamps. Cyclists can enjoy views of picturesque fields with grazing horses and cattle. You will be able to stop at Sperry’s charming downtown for a break. All the different trail access points have parking, bike racks, benches, and water fountains.

River Parks Trails

The trail system of River Parks is at the heart of Tulsa outdoor recreation. The River Parks Trails cover miles of paved biking and walking paths winding through the city and along the banks of the Arkansas River. You are in the city, but it won’t feel like it while biking the trails. The Katy Trail will take you northwest to Sand Springs. The west bank trail extends to Turkey Mountain, and it is well-lit until 11:00 PM for those who like to cycle beyond sunset.

Turkey Mountain

Turkey Mountain is a Tulsa treasure on the western banks of the Arkansas River. It is 750 acres of untamed open space woodlands and an extensive trail system. The trails are rugged and suitable for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking. Nine of the trails are dedicated to downhill mountain biking only. If you are an off-road cycling enthusiast, Turkey Mountain is for you. You won’t even realize you are in Tulsa because this is a true city wilderness.

Washington Irving Park

Just outside of Tulsa is Washington Irving Park in nearby Bixby. This is a lovely 32.5-acre wooded park with walking and biking trails. Spend an afternoon cycling, stopping along the way to explore the Laci Dawn Hill Butterfly Garden and the World Trade Center Memorial. Enjoy lunch at one of the many picnic tables. There are also various festivals and special events throughout the year at Washington Irving Park.

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    Tulsa is in the process of making the downtown streets friendlier to pedestrians and cyclists. There is a long-term plan to install more bike lanes, sidewalks, and trails. This is an ongoing project, so check for updated city maps that will indicate the progress as improvements are made.

    Cycling Safety

    While Tulsa is a bicycle friendly city with many trails and roadways welcoming cyclist, safety should always be your first priority. In 2021, there were 57 cycling collisions in the city resulting in 3 fatalities.  Remember before exploring any new area by bike to familiarize yourself with local cycling laws and regulations. Obey all traffic signs and signals, make yourself visible to drivers when sharing the road, and always wear an approved cycling helmet.

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    Exploring Tulsa by Bike — Bike Hacks